The Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University economist, as President of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, making her the first black leader of the CEA in its 75-year history.
The final vote was 95 to 4.
Dr Rouse is the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and a former board member under President Barack Obama. His academic research has focused on education, discrimination, and the forces that hold some people back in the US economy. She won praise from Republicans and Democrats at her confirmation hearing, with Senators on the Banking Committee voting unanimously to send her nomination to the full Senate.
She will assume her post amid an ongoing economic and public health crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic and in the final days of debate in Congress over a $ 1.9 trillion economic aid package Mr Biden has made it its first major legislative priority.
But in interviews and in her testimony, Dr. Rouse made it clear that she sees a broader set of priorities as President of CAOT: overhauling the internal workings of the federal government to promote fairness. racial and gender in the economy.
“As deeply distressing as this pandemic and its economic fallout have been,” she said during her hearing, “it is also an opportunity to rebuild the economy better than it was before – by making it work for everyone by increasing the availability of satisfying jobs and quitting. no one is in danger of falling through the cracks. “
One of her initiatives as chair of the board will be to audit the way the government collects and reports economic data, in order to disaggregate it by race, sex and other demographic variables with the aim of improving the government’s ability to target economic policies on helping historically disadvantaged groups.
“We want to design policies that will be economically efficient,” Dr Rouse said in an interview this year. When asked how she would judge effectiveness, she replied, “It’s keeping an eye on this bullet and asking ourselves, every time we look at a policy, what are the racial and ethnic impacts?